Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new law that says police departments cannot keep assets seized as part of an investigation unless the owner is convicted of a crime. 

Prosecutors have used civil actions to seize assets as part of a strategy to combat drug dealing. But critics says the seizures violate due process rights.

Governor Whitmer is a former county prosecutor who says it was a solution that became a problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she would veto both versions of Republican plans to overhaul the state’s auto insurance system. 

She says House and Senate plans adopted this week don’t do enough to ensure that people are charged rates based on their driving history, and not where they live.

“I’ve been very clear I’m not going to sign a bill that preserves a corrupt system where insurance companies are allowed to unfairly discriminate in setting rates.”

Whitmer says the bills also don’t guarantee permanent and immediate rate rollbacks.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate Tuesday approved a bill to change the rules governing how auto insurance is sold in Michigan. 

The bill would place new caps on medical benefits for people who don’t buy additional coverage.

Critics say the Republican plan would leave drivers who would be hurt the most by high medical bills with the least protection.

Senator Adam Hollier of Detroit agrees, but was still one of only two Democrats to vote for the bill. He says his city has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and it’s past time to do something.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the Legislature will challenge a federal court decision that struck down Michigan’s congressional and legislative district lines. 

The court says Republicans went too far in drawing districts to the benefit of Republican candidates.

The decision says the Legislature has until August to come up with new, fairer district lines.

The lines were approved by a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican governor. GOP leaders say, yes, they were in control, but they followed the rules.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. 

A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing Thursday before a state Senate committee.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe-versus-Wade US Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

Opponents say the bills would violate medical best practices and intrude into the doctor-patient relationship.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says a new unit in her office will focus on businesses that illegally classify their workers as independent contractors to reduce their costs. 

The Democratic attorney general says it’s a growing trend around the country – employers who classify their workers as independent contractors. Nessel says that’s used to avoid paying workers the minimum wage as well as health and unemployment benefits they’re entitled to.  And she says it cheats other employers who play by the rules and shoulder those costs.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker wants to make sure consent is taught as part of sex education classes.  

At least four other states have adopted similar laws.

State Senator Curtis Hertel is a Democrat whose district includes Michigan State University. He says students need to learn about sexual assault and consent before they graduate from high school and go to college.

“College students are most likely to experience sexual assault within their first six months on campus,” he says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Republican chair of the state House Transportation Committee says he plans an aggressive schedule of hearings on road repairs.

The committee plans to hold two hearings a week and have its recommendations ready before the end of the summer.

State Representative Jack O’Malley says his committee will be looking for new ideas on how to fix and maintain roads, but not how to pay for it.

Jose Juarez / Detroit News

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state commission says a judge in Livingston County should lose her job due to serious misconduct on the bench.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission sent its recommendation to the Michigan Supreme Court following an investigation into the conduct of 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan. 

John Nevin is the communications director for the state Supreme Court. He says Brennan will have a chance to respond before justices decide.

“Ultimately the job is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not to remove Judge Brennan,” he says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s attorney general wants to use the state’s share of a national bank fraud settlement to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests. 

State Attorney General Dana Nessel says it would be the best use of the money collected from Wells Fargo for misleading and improperly charging fees to customers.

Kelly Rossman-McKinney is Nessel’s communications director. 

“Clearly, the investigation into clergy abuse is one of the most important things that we’re working on here,” she says.

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